Microbial communication researchers join forces

Inauguration of the "Jena Center for Microbial Communication" at the FSU Jena

| by Christine Vogler

An example of microbial communication in the form of close interactions of sRhizopus microsporus fungal hyphae and the attached bacteria Burkholderia rhizoxinica (Photo: HKI/CBS-KNAW)

They are more numerous than all other organisms, and a large percentage of them is still unkown - microbes. Microorganisms inhabit almost all places on earth and continously interact with their surroundings, including humans. This has consequences: on the one hand, microbes regulate our digestion, on the other hand, they can cause dangerous diseases.

Jena is home to a large number of research projects on microbial communication. These projects deal with infection research as well as with developing novel diagnostics and therapeutics by using novel methods and natural products, but also with bioremediation. In the "Jena Center for Microbial Communication" (JCMC) which is inaugurated at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena on May 29, 2015, all these activities are brought together under one roof.

Prof. Dr. Erika Kothe, speaker of the new center, highlights the important support that the JCMC will provide for the transfer of research results into new products and novel biotechnological and medical applications. Microbial communication processes have been a research focus in Jena since the establishment in 2007 of the Jena School of Microbial Communication (JSMC), funded by means of the excellence initiative of the German Research Foundation (DFG). "The JCMC will continue and expand this excellent collaboration of the university with extra university research institutions and industry partners", explains Prof. Kothe.

Among the projects brought together by the JCMC are the CRC/Transregio FunigNet, the CRC ChemBioSys, The CRC AquaDiva, the Center for Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC), the research campus Infectognostics and the Leibniz ScienceCampus InfectoOptics.